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A Cancer Diagnosis at 21, An Author at 24

You never know when you’re going to run into bravery, such was the case the other day at the Chester, Sunday Market. A book caught my eye, it had an amazing cover of a beautiful young woman who was bald. The books were spread out over a card table and beside it sat a young couple. It turns out that twenty-four year old Danielle Tyler Albee, A.K.A “Dani” posed for the cover of that book entitled,  “Dani’s Cancer~ A Beautiful Mess.” She was diagnosed with cancer four years ago at the age of 21. The book, which she wrote chronicles what happened to her during the course of her treatment, before and after. She writes about everything good and bad, sometimes with humor, included is a journal she kept throughout her treatment. Emotional, yes, very.

Dani grew up in bucolic Chester, Connecticut. She went out to Arizona to go to college and something turned terribly wrong. Dani told me she started bruising, and there was a lot of it. One thing lead to another and finally a dreaded diagnosis of cancer.  At just 21, but into adulthood she was pushed, shoved actually. She isn’t a stranger to this illness, lymphoma had taken the life of her father at age 30 when she was just five years old. Dani calls cancer “the ugly beast” and says it won’t get her.

Her boyfriend has stayed by her side throughout it all. They came back to Connecticut from Arizona so she could be treated closer to her family at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. Her type of cancer was so mysterious doctors thought that facility was best for her as they tried to figure it out.

Dani’s no-holds barred account of what it’s like to go through cancer treatment was cathartic for her and I’m sure will be for others. Dani has already walked down an incredibly dark path but has emerged an amazing human being. Part of the proceeds from her book goes to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Check out her website for some amazing photos of Dani and more about what she is all about, there is much to learn from this very brave young woman. I’m so glad we met. Oh and I just wanted to let you know that Dani is now in school studying to be a nurse following all of this, that profession is getting an angel.

*** As of May 4th 2014 this is the latest on Dani, she tells me, “I currently am one week away from finishing the nursing program. I am extremely excited to graduate and be done with the stress of school, but of course when that stress is done I will be experiencing a new stress called job hunting. I am looking forward to starting a career as a nurse. Besides that I am still cancer free with just some long term side effects from treatment but overall healthy.”

CPTV did an awesome job on her story.


  1. Dyan Salemi
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Ann…you bring the most amazing folks into my life…and I benefit. This woman’s courage and strength come from her beautiful spirit.

    Thank you


    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted September 14, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      And Dyan, you happen to me one of those amazing women!

  2. Dan Licitra
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Very inspiring Ann, thank you!

  3. marsha boschen
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    What an inspiring storey. I can’t wait to read it. Will it be in book Stores? It will make a great gift. Thank you for bringing the storey out. I love your web-site.
    Best regards, Marsha

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Marsha, thanks so much for reading the story, she is truly an amazing young woman, thanks also for reading the website, there are so many stories here about the lives of Connecticut people and what they are doing, we’re a pretty fascinating state.

  4. Posted November 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    My daughter battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well, these brave young people show us all how to be a better person! Congrat’s to Dani on her book, a chronicle of living well and strong not of the disease!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted November 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Carolyn, thank you so much for reading the blog post and all the best to your daughter, cancer affects the whole family.